Holiday shopping guide 2004

December 18, 2003 | Trades

It’s that time of the year again when thoughts turn to joy to the world, giving and sharing and … huge piles of comics!!!
Forget fruitcake and plum pudding, to heck with the sweaters and wool socks, this year try opening up your friends’ and families’ horizons by slipping a collected-edition comic book under the tree.
There is a book for every type of fan, and some great starter books for the uninitiated, with many publishers ready to deck your halls with great titles.


For the classic fan:
Batman Illustrated By Neal Adams Vol. 1
DC Comics

If you’re under the age of 35, the Batman you know is the one re-created by Neal Adams.
In the wake of the 1960s TV show that had The Caped Crusader looking more the like the campy crusader, Adams brought Batman back to his roots. He returned him to the shadows and re-made Batman the Dark Knight.
This, the first of three planned chronological collections of all of Adams work with Batman, helps capture the evolution of the character and includes all the stories and covers Adams did on Bat-titles from 1967 to 1969.


For the modern fan:
Batman: Hush Vol. 2
DC Comics

Who is Hush? And why is he trying to destroy Batman’s life?
This second and final collection of the most talked about storyline of 2003, brought to you by the talented duo of artist Jim Lee and writer Jeph Loeb, gives you all the answers.
Featuring a who’s who of Batman’s friends and foes, including the Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler, Robin and many more, this enthralling mystery will have you guessing right up until Hush’s identity is revealed.


For the cutting-edge fan:
Powers Vol. 5: Anarchy
Image Comics

Brian Michael Bendis is arguably the hottest writer in comics today and perhaps his best work is Powers, tales of cops whose beat is investigating crimes involving super-powered people.
Anarchy sees the police investigating a string of brutal murders of superheroes that leads them back to an old friend as the next target. But will their efforts to warn him play right into the murderer’s hands?


For the sophisticated fan:
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen II
ABC Comics/DC Comics

Forget everything you’ve seen on the big screen. Comic writing legend Alan Moore’s tales of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen are darker and much more clever.
This second installment sees The League, made up of famous fictional literary figures from the turn of the century, including Alan Quartermain, Captain Nemo and Dracula’s Mina Murray, battle an invasion from Mars.
League II is a shocking tale of love and betrayal with more twists than a pretzel.


For the art fan:
The Will Eisner Sketchbook
Dark Horse Books

Comic book master Will Eisner has been one of the finest storytellers of the genre for the past 60 years. The Will Eisner Sketchbook shows why.
This beautiful hardcover takes readers through the production of several of Eisner’s award-winning stories with sketches, storyboards and chapter introductions by the 86-year-old himself.
The quality of this book is so good you’ll swear the lead from the reproduced pencil sketches is going to come off on your hands.


For the comic strip fan:
Liberty Meadows Vol. 2: Creature Comforts
Image Comics

Funny books are a must around the holidays and the latest Liberty Meadows book is a perfect fit. Frank Cho’s terrific art and brilliant pacing will have you in stitches at the adventures of the offbeat characters at the Liberty Meadows animal sanctuary.
A good-sized sketchbook displaying a wider range of Cho’s talents makes Creature Comforts even more worthwhile.


For the indie fan:
Top Shelf Comix

This unabashed look at the rise and fall of a relationship by writer/artist Jeffrey Brown is a touching and sometimes agonizing story about young love in the 21st century.
The honesty put forth by Brown, even if its embarrassing or painful, makes Unlikely a compelling read.


For the Manga fan:
Hellsing Vol. 1
Dark Horse Books

Based on one of the most popular anime titles out there, Hellsing is finally available in book form in North America thanks to Dark Horse Books.
The story of Hellsing, a secret organization sworn to protect England from the forces of darkness, is wicked and sharp and looks outstanding in this classic, slightly-smaller Manga-sized book.

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